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Tuesday, March 23, 2010

My Employers are Racists!

Okay, not my employers. Rather, my question writer's employers. (And for the record, I'm not anybody's employee. I'm an independent contractor. Feel free to offer me projects for large sums of money.)

I work for a small family business where HR functions are handled by accounting and the department manager. I manage a very small workforce that contributes a great deal to the bottom line. I have recently conducted interviews for a position that is soon to be available. The problem is that the best candidate is a minority, and the owners of the business are racist.

They are not overtly racist, they just put the microscope on every minority I hire, especially minority women. My direct supervisor is not a member of the family, but everyone else above me is. I feel that I would not be helping this candidate to hire her since I can guarantee that I will be asked to terminate her before her probationary period ends for “unsatisfactory performance.”

If I do not hire because my higher ups are racist, then am I guilty of discrimination? I have decided to hire the most qualified person, who is a minority, but I can count the calender days until I am instructed to terminate. What do I do?

Go over to BNET and find out the smart way to battle racist employers.


Anonymous said...

Hire that minority because the best way of starting real change is by exposure. Don't get me wrong, your bosses won't quit their bigotry in a day and that employee may very well be fired after probation, BUT @ the very least, the ability & professionalism of said minority should make them see that their hostility is unfounded. Or who knows, they may surprise you positively.

Ridding the world of discrimination doesn't rest on your shoulders alone, but it does depend on each of us where possible, in our own little way, to do something.

Anonymous said...

Evil HR Lady,
You mention "probationary period" and that could compromise the "at-will" status of an employee. I've also heard it called an "evaluation period." Does that make a difference or is that just semantics?

Suzanne Lucas said...

I'm not a lawyer so I don't know for sure, but I wouldn't approve of either.